BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Alabama-based Regions Bank has agreed to pay more than $52 million to resolve allegations that it improperly handled mortgage loans, federal officials said Tuesday.
The Birmingham-based bank was accused of handling mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration that failed to meet requirements designed to protect homeowners, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
“Mortgage lenders that participate in the FHA insurance program must follow the requirements intended to safeguard its integrity and to protect homeowners,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “We will continue to hold responsible lenders that knowingly violate these important requirements.”
As part of the settlement, Regions acknowledged it failed to follow several federal guidelines from Jan. 1, 2006 to Dec. 31, 2011.
Federal authorities said that as a result, the U.S. government insured hundreds of loans approved by Regions that were not eligible for FHA mortgage insurance. HUD subsequently incurred substantial losses when it paid insurance claims on those loans, authorities said.